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I'm running Linux Mint and I'm trying to edit my symbol files but none of the changes stick - I've tried restarting X and restarting the computer. Eventually I got frustrated and tried deleting the symbols directory (well, moving it to the parent directory), and if that had made a difference I'd revert the change using a TTY. I restarted the computer but I can still type - why is that?

More information: the only directories I have found relating to xkb (I used locate xkb), are those in /usr/share/X11/xkb and its subdirectories, and so these are the files I've been editing.

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There is a tool made by XFree/X.org in order to alter your symbol / key mapping. It is xmodmap. See this post for a nice explanation about it from ArchLinux community. Default keyboard configuration file on Debian-based Linux (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc) is in /etc/default/keyboard.

You can also do that with tools like getkeycodes / setkeycodes or dumpkeys / loadkeys. Take note that those tools works only in a real console, not a xterm. You'll need to use CTRL+ALT+FX.

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    Supposedly, xkb is now preferred over xmodmap anyway. – Sparhawk Aug 14 '13 at 6:26

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